Britain’s Adam Yates won stage five of the week-long Tirreno-Adriatico race as Team Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski moved into the overall lead.
Michelton-Scott rider Yates launched an attack with four kilometres remaining of the 178km race to Filottrano and held on to win on the summit finish.
Peter Sagan was second, while Kwiatkowski was third as he took the lead of the race from Damiano Caruso.
Britain’s Geraint Thomas was sixth as he moved up to fourth place overall.
The Welshman had been the overall leader after stage three but he lost time after having a mechanical problem towards the end of stage four of the eight-stage race.
Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, who helped Thomas on Saturday, had a mechanical problem of his own on Sunday, 5.5km from the finish and he crossed the line more than eight minutes behind Yates.
Froome is building up to May’s Giro d’Italia as he attempts to become only the third rider to win three successive Grand Tours – Frenchman Bernard Hinault won the Giro and Tour in 1982 and followed that with the Vuelta a Espana in 1983, while Belgium’s Eddy Merckx won four in a row across 1972 and 73.
However, the Team Sky rider could be banned after returning an “adverse” drugs test en route to becoming the first British rider to win the Vuelta.
Froome, 32, was found to have double the allowed level of legal asthma drug salbutamol in his urine. He maintains he has done nothing wrong.
Yates, said he had “been feeling good for a few days” after his stage win.
He added: “I tried a couple of stages ago but I came second.
“The team set me up perfectly before the last climb so I could ride away – all I had to do was attack and hold on the bunch. I finished it off.
“My brother won yesterday at Paris-Nice [and] it gave me some extra motivation for today.”
Simon Yates led Paris-Nice going into the final stage on Sunday but ended up missing out on victory by four seconds to Spain’s Marc Soler.
Stage five result:
1. Adam Yates (GB/Michelton-Scott) 4hrs 16min 35secs
2. Peter Sagan (Svk/Bora-Hansgrohe) +7secs
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) Same time
4. Tiesj Benoot (Bel/LOT)
5. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EFD)
6. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky)
73. Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +8mins 5secs
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Team Sky) 21hrs 31mins 28secs
2. Damiano Caruso (Ita/BMC) +3secs
3. Mikel Landa (Spa/Movistar) +23secs
4. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) +29secs
5. Rigoberto Uran (Col/EF Education First-Drapac) +34secs
6. Adam Yates (GB/Michelton-Scott) +36secs
7. Davide Formolo (Ita/Bora-Hansgrohe) +37secs
8. Tiesj Benoot (Bel/Lotto-Soudal) +39secs
9. George Bennett (NZ/Lotto NL Jumbo) +41secs
10. Jamie Roson (Spa/Movistar) +47secs
31: Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky) +9mins